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Which Graphic Card Should I Pick? (Suggestions?)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 30, 2008 5:58:43 PM

Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a new graphic card, and I would like to hear what you guys think of the choices I got.

I'm currently using ATI X1950 PRO but few days ago, it kind of died on me while playing Prostreet on full settings (...i don't know. please dont' ask lol)

Use of the card will mostly be gaming (1280x1024 resolution), and for movies (sometimes 720, 1080..)

I know that my x1950 pro would probably be better than the choices I will list below, but $ is a factor in my case.

I'm looking for a card around ~$150 (+ or - $20)with good cooling (i had bad experiences with a few), and silent if possible at somewhat of a load. (not to mention my case is antec sonata)

So, here are the lists.

ATI HD2600 XT
ATI HD2900 XT
ATI HD3850
ATI HD3870

(I would like to stick with ATI but if u think these all suck and would recommend a nvidia that's cool too)

Any comment would be appreciated.

Thanks !





PS: Oh and if any from this list, which brand should I consider?
June 30, 2008 6:05:28 PM

DONT GET ANY OF THOSE CARDS!
ok, for under 150 bucks. the 9600 gt or 9600 gso. If your lucky you might find a 8800 gt for cheap. but do not get the above cards.
evga, bfg, and xfx are good brands. sorry but if you want an ati card, the only viable option is a 4850 which, with rebate, can be found for 170~. that card would best my other suggestions but might be out of budget.
good luck!
June 30, 2008 6:09:15 PM

Any reason why you don't suggest ATI cards?

I'm not teasing but just would like to know the reason behind it.

I've used Nvidia before and ATI now, and maybe because I had to rma 6800 twice is why it made me to just stick to ATI...

Related resources
June 30, 2008 6:16:39 PM

i have nothing aagainst ati, they are doing great now. but the last generation of cards weren't very good. the 2600 is all but worthless if you want to game. the 9600 would be a good card for you unless you want to splurge and get the new 4850, which is a very good card.
June 30, 2008 6:24:24 PM

Get the 4850 you won't regret it. Failing that the 9600GT hits the next price segment pretty well.
June 30, 2008 6:25:24 PM

Get the 4850 its the best price/performance ratio.
June 30, 2008 6:28:38 PM

Nothing wrong with the 3850 and 3870 cards from ATI, but avoid the 2600 and 2900 XTs.

For NVidia, I recommend these cards:

ECS N8800GT-512MX+ GeForce 8800 GT 512MB $144.99
This will be the most quiet option, this card can be run in true silent mode *IF* you have good ventilation in your case.

EVGA 512-P3-N800-TR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB $159.99 ($139.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
This EVGA is a great card. Dual slot cooler design, and EVGA has a great warranty and the 90-day step up program.

MSI N9600GT 512M GeForce 9600 GT 512MB $134.99 ($114.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Lowest price after rebate of the bunch. Good FPS/dollar. Nice dual slot cooler.


I definitely agree with the other replies that the ATI 4850 is the best price/performance out there right now. It does run a little warm and can be a bit noisy (neither of which would bother me, but thats MY opinion).
June 30, 2008 6:36:30 PM

Thanks for all your replies.

I'm leaning towards 4850 and EVGA 8800GT (mtyermom's post).

From newegg, which 4850 would be good? brandwise?

I only see 9 choices there. any other good sites/price?
June 30, 2008 6:41:00 PM

And also, I'm using Sonata II case right now,

http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=15139...

I wanted to use the air duct system but couldn't because of my powercolor x1950 pro's big fan that sticks out like 3 inches.

Would 4850 and 8800GT give me the space for me to try the air duct system?
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2008 6:54:05 PM

I wouldn't bother with the air duct. I bought the case for my wife, and used the air duct. It restricts air flow in the case causing the ambient temperature in the case to rise. Your better off just leaving it out.
June 30, 2008 6:56:17 PM

hmm, I heard the similar things from other threads that it doesn't really help.

I guess I'll go with the majority.

Oh and lastly, in case I can't afford the 4850 (if i choose to go with ATI),
What would be the next thing I should consider? (3850..?)

Thanks !!
June 30, 2008 7:02:41 PM

The 3870 is the next step down on the ati pecking order,than the 3850.And ya those air ducts are worthless,i have a big pile of them sitting in a corner,and no i don't know why i still have them.
a c 196 U Graphics card
June 30, 2008 7:18:39 PM

If you wait a few days, Cleeve's article comparing video cards, The Best Gaming Video Cards for the Money will be updated for July. I suspect he will recommend the HD4850, but then considering noise, you may want to wait for the next batch of cards to be released. The current ones use stock coolers, and the next lot will probably include better and quieter coolers.
June 30, 2008 7:21:10 PM

Very good to know.

I will be waiting for the next batch of cards. Hopefully they come out soon :) 

Thanks all for the informativve suggestions.

I will post in near future when i get the card !
a b U Graphics card
June 30, 2008 7:24:11 PM

You can get a 4850 for around $150 from Newegg (if you are in the US) after rebate. I believe it is the Powercolor model (MIR and instant code rebate).
June 30, 2008 7:46:55 PM

Of the 4850s on newegg, here are my picks:

NOTE: All of these cards are reference design, so no 1 card is going to be faster than the others, factors in choosing are price, combo (if any), and the manufacturing company's rating for customer service.

GIGABYTE GV-R485-512H-B Radeon HD 4850 512MB $194.99
Gigabyte make solid cards, and are a reputable company. No mail in rebate, but discounted initial price ($194.99 vs. $199.99). Free shipping. Combo savings with AMD CPU.

MSI R4850-T2D512 Radeon HD 4850 512MB $199.99 ($174.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free shipping.
MSI is another reputable company, solid card w/ decent rebate. Free shipping. Combo with free game.

ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB $199.99 ($169.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free shipping. Combo savings with ASUS motherboard.
ASUS is yet another good company. Best price after rebate of the bunch.


If price is an issue and you want to look at ati 3850s, I would recommend these two:

MSI RX3850-T2D512E OC Radeon HD 3850 512MB $134.99 ($99.99 after $35.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Factory OC'd, good price after rebate. Free game combo.

HIS Hightech H385FS512NP Radeon HD 3850 512MB $119.99 ($89.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Good card, lowest price after rebate.

IMO, the ati 3850s lose in price/performance ratio to the newly discounted NVidia 8800GTs. So unless you're THAT cost prohibited, I would recommend ati 4850 > NV 8800GT > ati 3850.

Hope this helps.


EDIT: I agree with jtt283, waiting for the next batch of cards (non-reference design coolers) coming out that will restructure prices again will be your best bet.
June 30, 2008 8:00:55 PM

EXT64 said:
You can get a 4850 for around $150 from Newegg (if you are in the US) after rebate. I believe it is the Powercolor model (MIR and instant code rebate).



The Powercolor is $169.99 after rebate, same price as the ASUS. Given the same price, I would chose ASUS over Powercolor. But that is a personal preference.
June 30, 2008 8:12:33 PM

The Asus HD 4850 is $165 after MiR on Newegg
June 30, 2008 8:37:27 PM

robertito said:
The Asus HD 4850 is $165 after MiR on Newegg


Ahhh, they just added the instant $5 discount, it was not there this morning...

Makes it the best value (after rebate) 4850 out right now, IMO.
June 30, 2008 8:57:31 PM

You said your budget is 150+20$
So Asus 4850 firs your budget
Go for it
!